1 Friday, 16 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-02-60-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic, Dragan Jokic, and Dragan Obrenovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Well, shall we continue?
10 MS. DE LA TORRE: Your Honour, prior to the witness arriving,
11 there were a couple of points I wanted to make with regard to the video
12 and the portions that you are about to see today.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MS. DE LA TORRE: We have provided to the Court a -- and to the
15 Defence an identity book that corresponds to this particular video which
16 has the names and the identities of the different individuals that are
17 depicted on the video, and that can be used as a reference after the fact
18 to identify people that may appear on video rather briefly. I would,
19 however, like to point out as a point of reference, because it is
20 something that future witnesses will testify concerning, that in this
21 second Hotel Fontana meeting, there is a -- and you will hear a pig
22 squealing in the background, and the witnesses who will testify
23 subsequently will make reference to that particular event, and so I wanted
24 to call that to the Court's attention.
25 Additionally, present at the second Hotel Fontana meeting is
1 General Krstic, who you will see seated next to General Mladic, as well as
2 Kostric [phoen], who is the Drina Corps intelligence officer and Momir
3 Nikolic, who is present but not on the camera. Nesib Mandzic, also a
4 witness who will testify shortly before Your Honours is present on camera.
5 And then with regard to the third Hotel Fontana meeting which
6 follows on the video after the second, you will see Momir Nikolic standing
7 out in front of the Hotel Fontana with Radislav Jankovic and Vujadin
8 Popovic, as well as General Mladic and General Krstic at the meeting,
9 which also included Vojodin Popovic, and Miroslav Deronjic, who was the
10 civilian representative appointed by Radovan Karadzic, the three Muslim
11 representatives as well as the Dutch.
12 So I wanted to clarify that for the Court because I understand
13 that the witness has the ability to stop the video. However, we would
14 like to allow it to play in its entirety as much as possible.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Very briefly, Your Honour. What we just heard was
18 a summary. Now, I understand that the Prosecutor was trying to be helpful
19 to the Court. But I would appreciate if the evidence comes through the
20 witness rather than the Prosecutor, otherwise we need to have the
21 Prosecutor sworn as a witness so she can testify. Thank you.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. In this respect I agree with you.
23 But anyway, let's have that witness.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, witness.
1 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
2 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to start?
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, I am.
4 JUDGE LIU: Before that, could you tell me what's in your hands,
5 what's in that bundle, please.
6 THE WITNESS: This binder is the binder of the exhibits that will
7 be presented during my testimony, as well as the outline of questions that
8 will be forwarded to me by the Prosecutor. I have in addition to that one
9 document that summarises body counts in various mass graves.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
11 You may proceed, Ms. De la Torre.
12 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour. We will proceed now with the
13 continuation of the video which begins with the second Hotel Fontana
14 meeting on the 11th of July, 1995.
15 We will give the witness a mouse, which will allow him the ability
16 to stop the video if he has a comment.
17 WITNESS: JEAN-RENE RUEZ [Resumed]
18 Examined by Ms. De la Torre: [Continued]
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE WITNESS: I have to mention that the noise that is heard on
21 the video is a scream of a pig that is being slaughtered nearby.
22 You will have recognised General Krstic, commander -- deputy
23 commander of the Drina Corps that day.
24 So arrival of civilian representatives. The first person is
25 Camila Omanovic and the man behind is Ibro Nuhanovic. In addition to the
1 persons who were present at the previous meeting, here are more people.
2 They are civilian representatives of the municipality of Bratunac, that I
3 will pinpoint a bit later. You have also a representative of the police,
4 General Vasic. You also can see at the -- at the right of the screen
5 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, Drina Corps security officer. You also
6 have -- I don't remember his name, the one which has the moustache with
7 the intelligence -- of the corps. I don't remember. Sorry. And you have
8 also at the right of this table Mr. Miroslav Deronjic, the president of
9 the SDS for the area of Bratunac.
10 This is a group of men that was detained in the White House and
11 was walking towards specific buses to be transported to Bratunac. Here
12 they are walking on the opposite side of the road than the other refugees
13 are walking on, and in between the buses are soldiers who prevent them to
14 board these buses or trucks.
15 All these bags are the belongings of the men who were separated
16 and then taken to the White House that is just behind. These are the men
17 sitting on the balcony of the White House.
18 This is the last stage of the evacuation of the people. This is
19 the moment where those who were inside the UN base are requested to board
20 the buses and to follow the deportation route.
21 MS. DE LA TORRE: Your Honour, if the Court is agreeable, this
22 might be a good time to take a break. We are done with the Potocari
23 section, before we move on to the next topic.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We are adjourned until twenty to 11.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.09 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.42 a.m.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll proceed.
3 MS. DE LA TORRE: Your Honour, I have to apologise. We're using a
4 new video system here for this video, and we realise that there was an
5 approximately 20-minute section of Potocari that was missing. The video
6 was prepared sequentially, so this would be a bit out of order. However,
7 we would like to go ahead and -- and play it now, go back and pick it up.
8 The last section of the video where we left off leaves Potocari
9 and moves on along the road. We would like to reserve that and play that
10 on Monday, once we're able to get some of the kinks out. Once we finish
11 with the Potocari section, we can go on with Mr. Ruez's testimony and deal
12 with the rest of the video on Monday, if that's acceptable to the Court.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 [Videotape played]
15 THE WITNESS: This is exactly where the separation line was, 12th
16 July, just at the exit of the Express compound.
17 MS. DE LA TORRE: Your Honour, that concludes the Potocari section
18 of the video in its entirety. So we'd like to leave it here for today and
19 go back to the questioning of Mr. Ruez, picking up the video on Monday,
20 with the last segment.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, you may proceed.
22 MS. DE LA TORRE:
23 Q. Mr. Ruez, having finished --
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we have some technical problems here.
25 [Technical difficulty]
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Please proceed.
2 MS. DE LA TORRE:
3 Q. Leaving the video for the time being, Mr. Ruez, I'd like to go to
4 an overview of the crime scenes you identified during the course of your
5 investigation. Referring to Prosecution Exhibit 16.1, you mentioned in
6 your testimony yesterday that the women and children were being deported
7 from Potocari to a location you identified as Kladanj; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, this is correct.
9 Q. And as a matter of fact, in the video there is a segment called"
10 "Luke to Kladanj." Using Prosecution Exhibit 16.1, can you indicate for
11 the Court geographically the significance of -- of Kladanj and Luke, where
12 they are vis-a-vis the confrontation line?
13 A. Yes. But we don't have the relevant exhibit, I think, on the
15 Q. I'm just going to refer you, Mr. Ruez, back to Prosecution Exhibit
16 24, which is the large map of the entire area.
17 A. So Kladanj is at -- at the west of this map. Kladanj is a town
18 that is on the so-called at that time Muslim-held territory. So just
19 after the confrontation line that was separating Republika Srpska
20 territory and Bosniak territory. We could see on the video that this area
21 is an area of a canyon with a little river flowing in the middle, and they
22 are a series -- there is a series of tunnels that -- through which the
23 people went through to reach the town of Kladanj.
24 Just before the area where the people were dropped off the buses
25 and the trucks is a little elementary school called the Luke School. And
1 after having got out of the buses, the men who were still together with
2 their families at that point were separated and taken towards that school,
3 which is approximately 400 metres towards the west -- sorry, towards the
4 east of the dropping spot.
5 Q. And approximately how far is Luke from Kladanj?
6 A. Approximately 4 or 5 kilometres, and Luke is approximately very
7 roughly 40 kilometres by road from Bratunac or from Potocari.
8 MS. DE LA TORRE: Thank you. We're finished with this map.
10 Q. Mr. Ruez, when did you first identify Luke as a potential crime
12 A. Luke was identified as a possible crime scene following the
13 interview of one witness who was on-board of a bus. I think it was 13
14 July, arrived in Luke, he went through this separation process, was taken
15 to this elementary school, where he stayed for the afternoon. On a meadow
16 first, then was taken inside the little building. I think we have this
17 exhibit coming on the screen.
18 Q. Referring to Prosecution Exhibit 4.1, were you able to locate the
19 building or the school that the survivor indicated he was held in?
20 A. Yes, we could do so only after having taken this man on the spot
21 with us, because prior that we couldn't figure out that this tiny building
22 so close to the confrontation line was the one. But ultimately this
23 witness went with us and pinpointed that elementary school as being the
24 detention site for him.
25 Q. Moving on to Prosecution Exhibit 4.2. Did the witness indicate
1 where in the school he was held?
2 A. Yes. There are two classrooms in this school, and he was taken
3 inside this one. He pinpointed the location where he was sitting,
4 together with approximately 15 people, and how they went also through a
5 beating process in this classroom.
6 Q. Where were the prisoners taken from the school?
7 A. At the end of the -- of that day, this man was -- who testified
8 here during the trial of General Krstic, and we have the records of this,
9 was taken on-board of a little truck, was driven towards Vlasenica town,
10 which is approximately 10 kilometres to the east of Luke. He recognised
11 some lamps which are along the side of the road in front of Vlasenica,
12 then recognised also that the truck was turning nearby a football pitch,
13 which is a football stadium in front of Vlasenica town, and from there he
14 drove for an unknown time and distance, in fact, towards an area of hills
15 that is north of Vlasenica, and at one point the truck stopped and he used
16 the opportunity to jump off the truck and run away, was shot at but was
17 missed, and would hear intense shooting happening behind him and made the
18 assumption that this was the execution of the other prisoners who were
19 on-board the truck with him.
20 Q. Were you able to follow the route of this particular witness to
21 verify his account of what had occurred?
22 A. We attempted to locate the execution site, but since the event
23 happened during the night he was not able to spot precisely where this
24 thing might have happened. I also --
25 Q. Go ahead.
1 A. I also have to add that since we have discovered many execution
2 sites and mass grave sites through aerial imagery, unfortunately in this
3 instance aerial imagery was not of use.
4 Q. Moving on to Prosecution Exhibit 4.3. You have a map in which you
5 have marked "Execution sites, main concentration site, and mass grave."
6 Can you explain to the Court how it is that you marked this particular
8 A. Yes. In this area, which is the zone where most of the people who
9 were trapped in the woods and who surrendered on 13 July 1995 were
10 assembled on some collection points first. And the final destination of
11 these prisoners ultimately ended up being Bratunac town. They were then
12 ultimately transported towards Bratunac town. But for a fraction of them,
13 an unknown fraction of them, their immediate fate after having been
14 captured or after having surrendered was to be taken towards execution
15 sites, and these ones are marked here and will be developed then one by
16 one. The reason of marking this map is also to show that every incident
17 is separate but there is a pattern here during the day of 13 July that to
18 me seems to indicate that there was an initial intent to deal with these
20 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I'm going to object to this witness
21 making conclusions at this point. We have not decided what his expertise
22 is as an expert witness, and he's drawing his own conclusions. I think
23 that's inappropriate and we object to him voicing his opinion and drawing
24 his on collusions.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe the Prosecutor could establish some
1 foundations of this information so that we could understand whether it's a
2 conclusion or it is hearsay evidence.
3 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Ruez, during the course of your investigation and your
5 interviews with survivors, both of executions as well as transportations
6 and deportations to Bratunac, were you able to ascertain where each of
7 these individuals was captured and subsequently held?
8 A. Yes. For each of them we could determine at what location that
9 person was -- surrendered, and from there we could reconstruct the -- the
10 trip that they made from that point, until the final stage where they
11 reached an execution site.
12 Q. In general terms, were you able, in speaking with these
13 individuals, to establish a form of a time line with regard to when
14 executions occurred versus when the shipments to Bratunac occurred?
15 A. Yes. The -- in fact, the -- the general events is quite simple.
16 12th of July is the day where the deportation starts for all the people
17 who are in Potocari. All these people are shipped towards Kladanj.
18 Separations are starting that day. The men are taken to Bratunac town
19 after having been stored for a while in Potocari the White House. The
20 next day is the day when this process continues in Potocari, but in
21 addition to that begins the process of capturing and surrendering of all
22 those who tried to flee through the forest and could not manage to break
23 through the Serb lines at the end of the day of the 12th. So the sake of
24 this exhibit was in fact to pinpoint on one map the various events that
25 happened in this area during the day of the 13th.
1 I retrieved my personal conclusion because I bet that such a
2 conclusion could be done by anyone else once the knowledge of these events
3 is known. In addition to these crime scenes are also marked two hardware
4 facilities which are two brigades. One site is the location of the 5th
5 Engineer Unit that belongs to the Drina Corps, and one other unit is
6 spotted also on this map, which is an element of the 65th Protection
7 Regiment, which is a unit attached to the main staff.
8 Q. Having in the --
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes.
10 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I just wanted to ask the witness if we
11 can find out what the basis is for his identification of these locations.
12 Does he have forensic evidence, or is it just a summary of hearsay
13 witnesses that we don't know where the foundation came from? If it's just
14 witness statements, could he just tell us what witnesses he bases this
15 information on and whether they will appear here to testify and be
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think part of the problem could be solved by
18 the questions asked by the Prosecutor. I believe she will lead us step by
19 step, and part of the issues could be solved during the cross-examination.
20 And you have the full title to dig deep into this issue.
21 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
23 MS. DE LA TORRE: And Your Honour, just for clarity, we do intend
24 to go through each of these crime scenes and establish how it is that they
25 became a part of Mr. Ruez's investigation. We're still on the overview at
1 the moment.
2 Q. Mr. Ruez, taking the map that you created here, Exhibit 4.3, can
3 you give the Judges an idea of the proximity of the military facilities
4 you've identified, the execution sites, and the concentration sites to one
6 A. Unfortunately, we lose quality on these exhibits once they appear
7 on the screen, but this map has squares and each of these squares is 1
8 kilometre. But unfortunately we cannot really see this on the -- on the
10 So let's say that the distance between Kravica and Konjevic Polje
11 here is I would guess 6 kilometres, and then from Konjevic Polje to Nova
12 Kasaba it is 3 kilometres.
13 Q. Having spent a fairly significant amount of time in this
14 particular area, Mr. Ruez, despite the fact that this map is blown up
15 many, many times, do you consider this to be a fairly small concentrated
16 area from Kravica to Konjevic Polje to Nova Kasaba?
17 A. Yes, absolutely.
18 Q. The fact that all of these sites that you've indicated, the
19 execution sites, the concentration sites, and the mass graves, are located
20 in such close proximity to one another, does that give you as an
21 investigator any indication as to whether or not this was an organised
22 plan that was -- that was carried out on the 12th, 13th, 14th of July?
23 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I'm going to have to object.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MS. SINATRA: It calls for speculation on the part of the
1 investigator. He wasn't present, and he's trying to speculate whether the
2 Serb army had an organised policy there. I don't believe he's qualified
3 to speculate on that and draw a conclusion.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Karnavas?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I basically was going to make the same
6 objection. At least, no foundation has been laid for him to be able to
7 give this sort of an opinion at this stage.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Well, during this trial, we are only going to hear the facts. Any
10 conclusions will be drawn by this Bench. And if there are any more facts
11 that the Prosecution would like to ask, you may proceed, but do not ask
12 the witness to give some speculations or conclusions on those facts.
13 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Ruez, you had indicated yesterday that there was a particular
15 significance of the location of Nova Kasaba and Konjevic Polje and Sandici
16 vis-a-vis the trek of the column. Can you explain to the Court the
17 relationship between the trek of the column and the sites that you have
18 indicated as concentration sites on this particular map.
19 A. Yes. I already explained that on a previous exhibit that was
20 showing both the trek of the column and the blockade of the Bosnian Serb
21 forces. The surrender spots are in fact determined by the nature of the
22 terrain in this area. The people were funneled towards this -- this
23 intersection of Konjevic Polje, and as I said, those who were on this --
24 on this part of the terrain, on a huge hill, these ones were surrendering
25 in between Konjevic Polje and Nova Kasaba. All those who were more
1 towards the east were going down towards the asphalt road in the area of
2 Sandici. And whatever meadow they were taken to initially, they were then
3 re-grouped on the Sandici meadow.
4 Q. And I guess that's my point, Mr. Ruez. Does this map reflect your
5 testimony yesterday with regard to how the column became trapped behind
6 the line and were ultimately assembled as prisoners to be taken to
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 5.2, can you explain to the Judges
10 what this depicts?
11 A. The black dot that was marking the location of the 65th Protection
12 Regiment near -- at Nova Kasaba - sorry - this photograph shows, in fact,
13 the building as seen from the road.
14 Q. And what is the significance of the 65th Protection Regiment?
15 A. Well, the first significance is that it was located at that place,
16 and for the rest it is a unit attached to the main staff. It is a unit
17 designed to protect General Mladic and the facilities of the main staff.
18 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 5.3. Can you explain to the Judges
19 what this aerial image depicts?
20 A. Yes. As I indicated previously, this compound to the 65th
21 Protection Regiment was used to keep some prisoners which were UN
22 prisoners. But these -- this UN personnel who was kept in this building
23 could also testify about the fact that there were Muslim prisoners kept in
24 this building as well.
25 This photograph dated 13 July at 1400 hours shows the compound,
1 which is at the bottom of the picture. And in front of this compound is a
2 yard, and one can see that there are three buses on this yard. I would
3 not be able to tell you if these buses are bringing prisoners or are
4 coming to collect prisoners.
5 Q. When you indicate "UN prisoners," Mr. Ruez, who specifically are
6 you referring to?
7 A. I am referring to the members of the Dutch Battalion who were
8 escorting the convoys towards Kladanj and who were stopped at checkpoints,
9 who were taken in custody to this facility and had their vehicles taken
10 away from them.
11 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 5.4, can you explain to the Court
12 the significance of the football pitch that's depicted in the middle
13 right-hand section of the photograph.
14 A. Yes. This photograph shows an aerial view of the football pitch
15 of Nova Kasaba and also the vicinity of Nova Kasaba town that starts just,
16 in fact, when entering town, the first location one hits is this football
17 pitch and then is the town. The compound we saw previously is at the exit
18 of this town. This is going south.
19 Q. With regard to your investigation, what is the significance of
20 this particular football field?
21 A. This is the main -- this is the main concentration spot for the
22 prisoners who were captured in this area. And when I say "the area," it
23 is in fact the area in between the intersection of Konjevic Polje and this
24 football field. The people naturally avoided getting too close to Nova
25 Kasaba. This is why they surrendered generally closer to the intersection
1 than to Nova Kasaba town. But then they were brought to this football
2 field, which is a convenient location to keep control of prisoners who are
3 on it.
4 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 3.5, can you in fact see the groups
5 of prisoners who were collected on that field in this photograph?
6 A. Yes. On this aerial photograph dated 13 July, 1400 hours, one can
7 see the same football field as the one shown previously but through
8 another angle. This is aerial imagery. And the -- the dark things that
9 can be seen on this football field and who are -- who have a yellow circle
10 around -- around them are groups of prisoners lined on rows -- lined in
11 rows, sorry. It is impossible to assess how many people we are seeing on
12 this photograph. And again, it is an instant shot, so it doesn't mean --
13 it does not mean that this is the entire amount of prisoners captured that
14 day. It's only the amount of people who were present on this field at
15 that specific timing.
16 Q. Mr. Ruez, during the course of your investigation, were you able
17 to ascertain whether or not General Mladic visited this particular site on
18 this particular day?
19 A. Yes. Witnesses referred to the arrival of Mladic, who made a
20 short stop at this soccer field and addressed the crowd, giving them a
21 speech, and then left the place.
22 Q. The prisoners who were collected on this field during the course
23 of the day, where were they taken?
24 A. As far as we know, since this is the -- the fate of at least one
25 of the persons who -- who survived ultimately, he was taken with other
1 prisoners who were on this field, put onboard of a vehicle, and they were
2 driven to Bratunac town, where they stayed in a column of convoys -- in a
3 convoy of buss and trucks.
4 Q. So am I correct in saying at this point, Mr. Ruez, you have the
5 prisoners separated in Potocari now being held in Bratunac, as well as the
6 groups of prisoners who were captured at Nova Kasaba, being bussed and
7 held in Bratunac?
8 A. At the end of the day of 13 July, 1995, all of the prisoners who
9 survived the day of 13 July 1995 were all taken to Bratunac town.
10 Q. In the area of this particular football field, Mr. Ruez, were you
11 able to identify execution sites as well as this particular holding site?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 6.1, based upon witness accounts,
14 were you able to locate an execution site in the area?
15 A. Yes. This --
16 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I just would like --
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MS. SINATRA: -- to object until he clarifies what witnesses and
19 if they will appear to testify. He cannot summarise their testimony and
20 come to a conclusion where the execution spots were located.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe Ms. De la Torre will ask some questions to
22 clarify this issue. Are there any witnesses to testify to this effect?
23 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour. Our intent at this point is,
24 with regard to these execution sites, is to discuss his investigation and
25 how he was able to take information he received, go out to the scene, and
1 verify the facts that had been relayed to him.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Ask some questions whether this witness has been
3 to this particular spot and there was an investigation in this respect.
4 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Ruez, just as an overview, the crime scenes that we are going
6 to go through today and possibly Monday, have you visited all of them?
7 A. Yes, absolutely all of them.
8 Q. And were you present when the investigation was conducted to the
9 point where evidence was collected and found based upon witness accounts
10 that had been given to the Office of the Prosecutor?
11 A. Not on all of them during the entire time that type of work was
12 conducted. And on this specific one, for example, it is an investigator
13 from the team, assisted by Dean Manning who did the survey of a meadow and
14 could find the elements that were confirming the declaration of the
16 Q. So with regard to the particular crime scenes that we go through,
17 can you clarify as we go through them which sites that you were present on
18 while the investigation was conducted.
19 A. I will mention it each time we hit a site. This might be the only
20 exception. I've been on this meadow. We've searched for -- tried to
21 locate this meadow during four years. When we finally found it, it was
22 the last one that we -- we probed, and I was leaving the area the day
23 before we started that process. So on this specific one, I was not
24 present when the metal fragments and the bullet fragments and the bullets
25 were found in the meadow that had been indicated as an execution spot by
1 the witness.
2 Q. Subsequent to the discovery of the evidence that was recovered at
3 this particular location, were you able to review all of that evidence and
4 compare what was recovered to the witness's account that had been given
5 previously concerning the execution?
6 A. For sure I reviewed all the material that was taken -- I mean,
7 that was -- I mean, all the information that was provided to me after this
8 mission was over by the investigator who -- who did the operation, and he
9 produced also a document that maybe can be introduced in the courtroom
10 about it.
11 Q. With -- as an investigator, with regard to the evidence that was
12 recovered, did that evidence corroborate the witness account that had been
13 given concerning this particular execution?
14 A. What it essentially confirmed is that on the specific location
15 that was -- on which the witness declared having seen the event that he --
16 he testified about not in court but to us, the only area where we could
17 match -- we'd discover elements that were matching what he said was on the
18 specific location that he had indicated, not 50 metres right, 100 metres
19 right, or 200 metres left. It was a very specific concentration of
20 bullets and bullet fragments on an approximately 15-metre by 20-large
22 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Sinatra, what's the problem.
23 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. I believe that the witness just
24 verified, one, that he's not really competent to testify about this site
25 right here because he was not present. He didn't conduct the
1 investigation. And two, he did just say that he was talking to a witness
2 who verified that but the witness is not going to testify. And I think
3 that that's the crux of that Milosevic decision. It's okay if he
4 summarises witness testimony if the witness will be available to testify
5 for cross-examination. But if it's evidence that the Prosecution is not
6 putting forward, then it should not be allowed to be summarised in this
7 hearsay on top of hearsay form.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, of course we'll regard this piece of evidence as
9 hearsay evidence. I think the issue is how much weight we should attach
10 to this piece of the evidence. We'll hear what the witness is going to
11 tell us.
12 Yes, you may proceed, Ms. De la Torre.
13 MS. DE LA TORRE:
14 Q. Mr. Ruez, you had indicated that it took approximately four years
15 of investigation to locate this particular site. Do you recall when it
16 was that you were finally able to identify this location?
17 A. Yes. It was the end of 1999. And the first attempt was in April
19 Q. Can you explain to the Court the information that you had that
20 ultimately led you to identify this particular site as a potential crime
22 A. That particular witness explained that meanwhile he was trying to
23 find a way to cross the asphalt road and was overlooking the road, he was
24 standing nearby an electrical pylon --
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MS. SINATRA: I really apologise to the Court, but all my
2 objection is is that if he's going to say what a witness said could we
3 just know whether the witness is coming to testify in the case or whether
4 he is a witness that they've just used to come to some summary conclusion?
5 JUDGE LIU: Could you provide us with that kind of information?
6 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour. In this particular case, the
7 Prosecution did not intend to call this particular witness. However, this
8 evidence is not being offered -- while it is hearsay in one respect, it is
9 also not being offered for the truth of the matter asserted in that we are
10 simply trying to detail for the Court the course of Mr. Ruez's
12 If a witness says, "I happened to see this while I was walking
13 through blood crossing a road," it's irrelevant whether or not that was in
14 fact when or how he saw it. The point is based on that information,
15 Mr. Ruez ended up at a particular site and once he arrived there he
16 uncovered a crime scene. So I don't believe that the situation in
17 Milosevic applies here, in that we are not attempting to introduce this
18 evidence in lieu of the witness testimony. We're simply trying to detail
19 Mr. Ruez's identification of different crime scenes, how he arrived at the
20 scene in the first place, and what he found when he got there.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. We have no objection if the
23 witness comes to testify. But this is -- goes directly to one of the
24 counts in the indictment, as to whether this happened or not, especially
25 under the theory of joint criminal enterprise. And I believe that there's
1 no problem with this line of questioning, as long as that witness will
2 appear for cross-examination. If he is not being called by the
3 Prosecution, then it violates the appellate ruling in Milosevic.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll take into consideration your objections.
5 Here we just want to know what the witness's personal knowledge of this
6 crime scene. I hope that both parties will bear in mind about that.
7 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I also just want to bring to the
8 Honourable Trial Chamber's attention that he did say that he didn't do
9 this investigation at this site; it was somebody else. So I don't know if
10 he's competent to testify about what he personally knew at this scene.
11 JUDGE LIU: Let me hear what will follow after his statement.
12 MS. DE LA TORRE:
13 Q. Mr. Ruez, can you explain briefly how it was that you were able to
14 identify this particular location as a crime scene.
15 A. So as I said, the witness was standing nearby an electrical pylon,
16 and he said that he saw in between two houses groups of prisoners being
17 led. He could not ascertain the numbers of these prisoners. They were
18 put to stand on a meadow, and parked in front of this meadow were three
19 armoured vehicles, one UN APC, and two personnel transport carriers on
20 tracks. On top of these vehicles were Serb soldiers who, when the people
21 were lined up, started shooting on this group. According to the witness,
22 this -- this situation occurred in three instances. After the third
23 event, he left the area. What took in fact so much time to identify the
24 spot is that there were several locations in between Konjevic Polje and
25 this area, where from the pylon one could see things in between two
1 houses. So we first checked all these other locations from north to south
2 before we ultimately found this one.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I was trying to be very
5 collegial and professional in bringing the Milosevic decision to the
6 Prosecution's attention three days ago hoping that they would read it and
7 re-read and it read it carefully. Obviously the lady Prosecutor has
8 failed to read it carefully enough to understand that this sort of
9 testimony goes specifically against the Milosevic decision.
10 What I'm uncertain at this point is whether this particular
11 witness has indeed questioned the witness upon which he's testifying to or
12 is it a statement that he's read that was generated through a questioning
13 process from somebody else from OTP or some other investigator. And I
14 join in with Ms. Sinatra's objection, and I would ask the -- the Court to
15 please ask the Prosecutor to lay a foundation, because now he is
16 testifying and the information that's coming out is going more than --
17 than merely as to what a witness said. It appears that they are bringing
18 it in for the truth of the matter asserted therein, which is -- and I
19 understand hearsay can come in and it goes to the weight, but here we have
20 a witness testifying about what another witness said and also about that
21 witness's state of mind and as to why he was unable to find the location
22 and so on and so forth. So maybe there is a good-faith basis for this
23 witness being able to provide this testimony. But until we have a clear
24 foundation - and this is sort of basic, elementary, you know, adversarial
25 trial skills - until that, Your Honour, it would cause us to have some
1 anxiety. It causes me to rise up and interfere and disrupt the
2 proceedings, which I don't like to do unless I have to.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that Madam Prosecutor is going to lay
4 the foundations for this piece of the evidence step by step. Let us hear
5 what kind of questions the Prosecutor will ask to this witness, especially
6 concerning the foundations.
7 The problem is that we should distinguish very clearly what is
8 this witness heard and what he saw when he visited that place so that we
9 could know how much weight we should attach to this piece of the evidence.
10 Yes, you may proceed, Madam Prosecutor.
11 MS. DE LA TORRE: Thank you.
12 Q. Mr. Ruez, I think you were in the process of detailing for the
13 Court how it was that you took this information and corroborated it, using
14 the locations at this particular site. You first mentioned that the
15 witness had indicated there was an electrical pylon; is that correct?
16 A. Yes. This is a witness with who I talked several hours and took
17 an interview from him in 1996. After that interview, we had access to the
18 area and tried by ourselves to pinpoint this location. We were
19 unsuccessful. We returned to talk with this witness, and ultimately
20 managed to convince him to come with us, to Republika Srpska, and to try
21 to find this place together with him. He agreed to come. Unfortunately,
22 he was so scared when we arrived on the spot that -- in this area that he
23 never dared to step out of the vehicle. He was more or less lying on the
24 back of the seat, not even daring showing his face, and arrived on the
25 spot, and in this area when he saw the first pylon, he said, "Yes, this is
1 probably the pylon." Unfortunately, the angle of what one can see when
2 he's on the road and the angle seen when one is on the hill is very
3 different, and he just dropped a location like this. This is why it took
4 us so long, in fact, to find without his assistance the same elements that
5 he was talking about to us but in another location, which was in fact 2
6 kilometres away from where we stopped when we were with him. But the
7 first time he had that ability, without getting out of the vehicle anyhow,
8 to help us find this location.
9 Q. Once you arrived at the location that's depicted in Prosecution
10 Exhibit 6.1, what elements at that particular scene were you able to
11 identify that corroborated the witness account?
12 A. So again here I will in fact explain the information that has been
13 forwarded by Dean Manning, investigator Dean Manning, who is the one who
14 produced forensic report on his findings on that particular meadow.
15 Q. Were you present when this location was first identified as -- as
16 the potential crime scene that was in question with regard to this
17 particular witness?
18 A. No. Because as I explained in 1999, we were in fact conducting an
19 investigation in the vicinity of this spot, and prior leaving I did
20 request that we would make a search on this meadow which was -- that was
21 the last area we did not check, and this -- we should do this meanwhile we
22 are conducting this investigation. And I had left the area the day after
23 that this meadow was indeed scanned with a metal detector and the -- a
24 specific area identified as a potential execution site that matched the
25 description of the witness. In between two houses when looking towards
1 the pylon.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
3 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. I believe it's clear for the
4 Court to see now that Mr. Ruez was not present even at the time when he's
5 talking about a witness who's lying in the back of the car, he wasn't
6 there. He is testifying from something that is not admissible according
7 to the appellant ruling in this case. And if it was admissible, I know
8 the Court would determine what weight to give it to. But I think the
9 first decision is whether it's admissible. And I don't believe that he
10 should be allowed to testify on that line of questioning without telling
11 us that he was present with the witness, number one, and that the witness
12 is going to come testify here subject to cross-examination, number two.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. As you said before, that we heard that the
14 foundation is quite clear that the witness was not present at that time.
15 MS. SINATRA: But he's also testifying from some source about some
16 witness saying that he was too afraid to get out of the car, and we don't
17 know what source that is.
18 JUDGE LIU: We should give an opportunity to the witness for him
19 to explain to us.
20 Yes, witness, do you have anything to say?
21 THE WITNESS: Yes, definitely. The description I made of the
22 behaviour of that witness, when we came on the spot, and, I'm the direct
23 source of this because I was driving the vehicle. I was together with
25 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I withdraw the objection.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 MS. DE LA TORRE:
3 Q. Mr. Ruez, based upon the interview you conducted with the witness
4 and based upon the evidence at this particular location, have you been
5 able personally to verify that the witness account detailed to you
6 personally is corroborated by this particular -- the points of interest in
7 this particular location?
8 A. Yes. Because again, I know this terrain very well. I've spent
9 hours walking in this area during several years. The reason why I believe
10 this is very precisely the spot the witness is talking about is that, as
11 you can see on the photograph - but it needs a little bit of imagination
12 because of the question of sight -- angle of sight - the pylon we were
13 referring to is at the left, top left of the picture. One can see a white
14 line which is a path, in fact, a dirt track, but next to it is like -- is
15 like a long. Yes. So here is -- there are two white lines. One is a
16 path, and on the right is -- that's much too large.
17 Left. Left. More, more, even more, much more, much more. Yes.
19 For here, on this enlargement, at the left is a dirt track. But
20 at the right it's an electrical pylon. You can eliminate this blow-up.
21 And if you draw a line from that pylon towards the houses which
22 are at the top of the picture above the asphalt road, you have, starting
23 from the left, where there is this bend of the road that turns left, after
24 that there are a few hills -- yes, perfect, towards the one. So that's
25 the angle of sight that one has when being in the vicinity at the bottom
1 of the pylon towards this direction. And the meadow on which we found the
2 elements I will describe just after this, were found specifically on this
4 I would add also that we have unfortunately an exhibit that we
5 could have presented had we expected to enter these details, which is the
6 map that Dean Manning generated to explain what was found precisely on
7 this meadow.
8 Q. Could you describe, Mr. Ruez, what was discovered at that
9 particular location, which is marked on Prosecution Exhibit 6.1 with a
10 rectangle and the number "1" that corresponded to the witness account that
11 had been given to you.
12 A. Yes. We would have to go to the Exhibit 6.2, the following one.
13 So this is a view of the meadow seen from the asphalt road. On -- on that
14 meadow, you can see that there are white -- sorry, yellow little markers
15 on the ground. These markers spot the position where metal fragments were
16 found inside the ground, these metal fragments being bullets and bullet
17 fragments and also some unidentified fragments. What was found also --
18 one has to remember that the -- the shooting was done according to the
19 witness from people who were standing on top of APCs. That's also an
20 important element because someone who would shoot from a low level at this
21 ground, due to the terrain, most certainly the bullets would not go
22 embedded in the soil. They would ricochet on such a slope. But due to
23 the angle of firing from people who were on top of these vehicles, then
24 the bullets penetrate the ground. And this is the reason why probably
25 here we were able to find these concentrations of metal, which according
1 to the size of the field where these fragments were found seems to match
2 the description which was made by the witness at that time.
3 Q. Mr. Ruez, were you able to locate any grave sites that are in
4 close proximity to this particular execution site?
5 A. Yes. In the vicinity of these sites are indeed mass grave sites.
6 Q. Going back to Prosecution Exhibit 6.1. Could you explain to the
7 Court what was found in the immediate vicinity of the execution site that
8 you just detailed in Exhibit 6.2.
9 A. Yes. The areas on this photograph marked "A" and "B" mark the
10 position of two mass grave sites, areas. In fact, one -- one mass grave
11 and 1992 smaller graves.
12 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 6.3, were you able to recover
13 aerial images which correspond to the boxes which were indicated on
14 Prosecution Exhibit 6.1?
15 A. Yes. This -- this photograph was part of those that were shown by
16 Madeleine Albright to the United Nations in August 1995, and they show the
17 presence of a disturbance in the area which is in the vicinity of a
18 football field of Nova Kasaba. So on this particular picture, which is
19 dated 27 July, there is a clear disturbance on several spots on this part
20 of the terrain. What could not be seen on the previous picture, because
21 it looked like woods, in fact there is a river just where the tree line
22 was on the previous photograph, and these areas here also are protected
23 from site when coming from the north thanks to these tree lines.
24 Q. And for the sake of clarity, Mr. Ruez, when you refer to the
25 aerial images of the crime scenes you identified and the fact that there
1 is disturbed earth, could you explain to the Court the significance of
2 that in the course of your investigation?
3 A. When we have a photograph, for example, dated 5 July of this area
4 that shows no disturbance and then later on a photograph dated 27 July
5 shows a disturbance, we always went to check the content of these areas
6 which showed disturbance. Due to the knowledge of the events we had at
7 that time, we could only suspect these places to be potential, possible
8 mass graves.
9 Q. Based upon the information you had received both from witnesses
10 and from the aerial images, was this particular site probed?
11 A. Yes, it was, in April 1996.
12 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 6.4, could you explain to the Court
13 what you mean when you say that a site was "probed".
14 A. We -- the word has two meanings. Sometimes when we say "we
15 probed," is in fact to take a metal -- a metal stick and put this in
16 the -- in the ground, push -- push it deep inside, and then retrieve it,
17 smell the tip of it, and if it smells rotting flesh then we can have an
18 assumption that we are indeed talking about a grave. But before being
19 able to ascertain there is a grave, we must at least show that there are
20 two different body parts so that it is not an individual grave. So in
21 this instance we opened an area approximately 2 by 2 metres, and here we
22 exposed a total of six bodies, which is in fact the first slice of a
23 larger grave. This -- this one contained a total of 33 bodies.
24 Q. Prosecution Exhibit 6.4 has on it six different yellow arrows. Do
25 those arrows -- in fact, it's a bit difficult to make out -- depict the
1 six different bodies you referred to?
2 A. Yes. It's only to individualise them, because on such graves the
3 bodies look more like junk. It's hard to recognise sometimes what part of
4 the body it is.
5 Q. Moving on to Prosecution Exhibit 6.5. Did you identify other
6 grave sites in the immediate vicinity of the -- of both the execution site
7 that you discussed earlier, as well as the mass grave site you just
9 A. Yes. In the same area is another -- another area of mass graves
10 to be found. This photograph dated 13 July shows both, again, the
11 execution site and the mass grave area that we just discussed. And
12 approximately 300 metres more south is another meadow and also nearby
13 the -- the river a mass grave site was created there.
14 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 6.6, were you also able to verify
15 through aerial imagery that this particular location had been disturbed?
16 A. Yes, indeed. A comparison of imagery of before and after, after
17 let's say July 5 and July 27, shows that in between the two dates suspect
18 sites had appeared, and the exhumation of this area was conducted, I think
19 it was -- it was in 1999, yes, I'm sure. It was 1999. Sixty-four bodies
20 were recovered in this entire area. The exhumation reports I think are
21 introduced in -- it is worth noticing that in some of them -- in one of
22 them people were apparently shot in the grave. Bullets were found
23 embedded at the bottom of the grave.
24 In anticipation to questions by the Defence, I would like to make
25 a -- another comment on both the execution site and the two mass grave
1 sites, that is, that so far the only connection that we can make among
2 these sites are the geographical proximity. We would not in any case say
3 that these -- the bodies found in these graves are the bodies from that
4 execution sites -- site. It only sounds logical, but we cannot prove it
5 because we could not conduct shell casing and analysis and comparison in
6 that situation for the reason that due to the way this execution was
7 committed shell casings did not mix together with the bodies. Also we
8 have on photograph no trace of heavy equipment being used to scoop the
9 bodies off the ground on the meadow, so the bodies were probably picked by
10 hand and then dropped inside the mass graves. So no shell casings could
11 be -- could be used in fact to make connections.
12 Not only this, is that the comparisons we do are based on shell
13 casing analysis, and in 1999 there was no more shell casings to collect
14 along the side of this road because very strangely in 1996 at the time
15 there was not one dollar available in this area. There was an impressive
16 cleaning up of the road between Nova Kasaba and the intersection of
17 Konjevic Polje with new crash barriers installed, also new gravel put
18 alongside of the road.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
20 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry, I'm going to have to object to the
21 narrative of this witness. He's not answering any questions posed by the
22 Prosecution. He's just going on in his own narrative form. And I'd like
23 to ask that the Court direct the Prosecution to please keep it to question
24 and answer.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. I think this is just the question I would
1 like to ask: Witness, we understand that you are eager to give your
2 evidence, but the whole proceeding is a question-answer orientated
3 procedure. If the Prosecution needs more information, she probably could
4 ask you to give your answer.
5 Well, Ms. De la Torre, I think you have to lead the witness step
6 by step, rather than let him answer any question that the Defence counsel
7 did not ask yet.
8 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour.
9 THE WITNESS: Sorry for that.
10 MS. DE LA TORRE:
11 Q. Mr. Ruez, we have a brief video labelled "Prosecution Exhibit
12 10.10" which depicts area entire area of Nova Kasaba that you have been
13 testifying concerning the football field as well as other surrounding
14 sites. If we could play that now.
15 A. Yeah. The aim of this video again is not so good. It's just to
16 indicate how the terrain looks like and give a -- give a feeling of the
18 Here turning towards the left is the direction of Nova Kasaba.
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE WITNESS: This is the big hill we always refer to -- Konjevic
21 Polje. Sorry. This is the big hill we always refer to. And this is now
22 the access road that goes towards Nova Kasaba, with the river at the
24 The loss of quality is too big. Here is the meadow we were
25 showing before. Here is the second mass grave area we -- we already
1 discussed. And here is now the football field. So the aim of this video
2 was just to show how the things are -- are in relation each with another
3 in terms -- in geographical terms.
4 MS. DE LA TORRE:
5 Q. Mr. Ruez, moving on to Prosecution Exhibit 7.1, were you able to
6 identify another execution site in this immediate vicinity?
7 JUDGE LIU: Well -- well, Ms. De la Torre, if you finished a
8 section of the questions, could we have a break here?
9 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 12.30.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. De la Torre, please proceed.
14 MS. DE LA TORRE: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Ruez -- sorry.
16 JUDGE LIU: I saw you were standing, so you might have some
17 procedural matters.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 MS. DE LA TORRE:
20 Q. Mr. Ruez, moving from the execution site that you had identified
21 as Nova Kasaba, were you subsequently able to identify a nearby location
22 in a place named Cerska?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you explain to the Court how it was that you first identified
25 this particular location as a potential crime scene?
1 A. Yes. I personally interviewed a witness - that was during the
2 summer 1995 - who declared that he was on that hill above Konjevic Polje
3 overlooking the asphalt road, trying to find a good time to attempt to
4 cross that road. He was with a little group of men. And at one point he
5 sees three buses who are quitting the asphalt road coming from Konjevic
6 Polje towards Nova Kasaba, turning right, and entering the so-called
7 valley of Cerska. That is a narrow valley just in front of the hill at
8 Konjevic Polje. This -- these three buses were followed by an APC, an
9 armoured personnel carrier, and then he lose these vehicles from site once
10 they have entered the valley. He then notices that an excavator is
11 following the same direction and after losing this one from sight he hears
12 intense shooting coming from the valley. Sometime later, approximately
13 half an hour, he notices these buses coming out of a valley, this time
14 empty. The first time he noticed that there were people inside he could
15 not -- he was not able to see if it was men or women, only people. And
16 sometime later also he sees the excavator quitting this valley.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
18 MS. SINATRA: I'm really sorry, Your Honour. But he refers to "he
19 says" all the way through the transcript. We have no idea to authenticate
20 this if he's talking about a witness, if he's talking about an
21 investigator. Could we just identify who it is that he's quoting.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think he said that it's a witness, but -- but
25 Prosecutor might ask some questions to help us to have some clarification
1 of that issue.
2 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Ruez, the information you just provided to the Court, was all
4 of that obtained during the course of your interview with this particular
6 A. I'll just repeat what I said. I started by saying that I had
7 interviewed a witness during the summer 1995. I interviewed him
8 personally during the summer 1995.
9 Q. Did you receive information from any other witnesses that
10 corroborated this particular witness's account regarding the incident you
11 just described?
12 A. Yes. He was together, as I said, with a little group of men. And
13 during that night they managed to cross the asphalt road. They penetrated
14 the valley. At one point a -- they penetrated the valley. They stayed in
15 that valley during -- approximately one week.
16 After that week, they went back. They didn't know where to go.
17 They decided to go back towards Srebrenica. And on the way back, they
18 noticed at one point a disgusting stench. They also noticed that on the
19 part of a hill there was soil that had been removed, and they draw the
20 conclusion that they probably just came across a mass grave.
21 Q. Were you able to take the information that you had been given and
22 identify a location that matched that particular description?
23 A. Yes. Based on that information, once we could access the
24 territory, that is, in 1996, we tried to locate a possible mass grave in
25 that area. We had no aerial imagery available of it, and we probed
1 various areas that we considered as suspect, initially with negative
2 results. So we filmed with a video camera the entire valley, and another
3 investigator presented that film to this -- the three men who were
4 together with that witness, and one of them pointed on one part of a video
5 an area, saying that it was very nearby that spot.
6 Q. Based upon that information, were you able personally to go out
7 and locate this particular site?
8 A. Yes. In the course of the following mission that was built based
9 on this information we obtained, we returned to the Cerska Valley and
10 precisely at the area that had been indicated by that man to my colleague
11 we started a dig and probed this area with positive results.
12 Q. Turning your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 7.1, could you
13 describe this location to the Court and how it corresponded to the
14 information obtained from the witnesses?
15 A. So this photograph shows the -- the execution site and the burial
16 site inside the valley of Cerska. The photograph is taken in the
17 direction when leaving the valley of Cerska. These vehicles are parked in
18 a way that they would exit the valley of Cerska here. The dark side at
19 the left of the photograph is an area which is not so clear on this
20 picture because now it's very dark here, which is the -- the slope from
21 which an excavator probably took soil and then covered the bodies which
22 were only dropped at the edge of this slope. And on the left side of the
23 road a number of shell casings were found.
24 Q. Moving to Prosecution Exhibit 7.2, Mr. Ruez, we have a video of
25 this particular location. If we could play that now and you could point
1 out for the Court any areas of significance in the video.
2 [Videotape played]
3 A. So this is the intersection of Konjevic Polje, to the left
4 direction Bratunac. This is the hill we always referred to as the
5 Konjevic Polje hill. This is looking towards Bratunac. Here the
6 helicopter flies towards Konjevic Polje -- towards Nova Kasaba, sorry.
7 This is the road that leads towards Nova Kasaba. At one point that road
8 will turn right, just here. The witness was on the hill to the left. And
9 then this road turns right inside the valley.
10 On the first portion one can see what is happening on this part of
11 the terrain when being on the hill, but very quickly -- this piece of
12 video -- yeah, now the helicopter is going to fly inside the valley of
13 Cerska. This is the valley, totally inhabited valley.
14 So we arrived here. There is another turn. And here no one could
15 see what is happening in this area when on the -- on the hill. Now it's
16 getting deep inside the valley. Two steep hills on both sides.
17 This is still the dirt road that goes up to the top of this
18 valley. And here is a zoom-in where the execution area is and the burial
19 area. The asphalt road is -- the dirt road is just underneath the line of
20 trees. Oh, sorry, it's not the first zooming. It was the second one.
21 There's a right turn towards the village of Macesi, and then it continues
22 a little bit, and here is the very precise area.
23 Now is the same area filmed from the ground. Here is the part of
24 the hill where obviously an excavator took that soil and dug that soil on
25 the area to the left, covering bodies which are buried under this slope.
1 This marks the beginning of the area we will probe. We will probe this
2 area up to the tree, which is a bit further up.
3 This is the length of the grave. So here is the first probe, a
4 jacket, a skull. On the right there is a colleague collecting and marking
5 the locations of shell casings. So obviously those who were shooting
6 was -- were on this side of the path, and their victims were just on
7 opposite side and they fell on the slope after having been shot.
8 This is the second probe with feet and legs coming out of the
9 ground where we dug.
10 And this is a third probe that exposes a skull, the top of the
12 So this is again an aerial view to show this time not the entrance
13 but the exit way of the valley. This is the length of the valley, the
14 steep hill -- the big hill at the -- at the end of the landscape is the
15 hill of Konjevic Polje. So the buses drove approximately 2 kilometres
16 inside this valley to bring the -- the victims.
17 Q. Mr. Ruez, looking at Prosecution Exhibit 7.3, were you ultimately
18 able to obtain aerial imagery that also corresponded to the particular
19 site here at Cerska?
20 A. Yes. Following that discovery, we requested confirmation of a
21 date of creation of this site. Following our request, we received two
22 photographs, one dated July 5 that shows the area where we probed without
23 any obvious disturbance there, and the same area dated 27 July 1995, that
24 shows the two disturbances, one at the left that corresponds to the grave
25 area and one to the right of the dirt road that corresponds to the piece
1 of slope that has been taken by the excavator to cover these bodies.
2 Ultimately, once the excavation was covered on that spot, 150
3 bodies were exhumed. But Mr. Manning will come and give all details about
4 the findings from the grave sites and the connections that are made based
5 on these findings.
6 Q. Moving on from the site at Cerska, Mr. Ruez, we'll show you
7 Prosecution Exhibit 8.1, which is the intersection at Konjevic Polje.
8 Going back to this particular location, can you explain to the Court what
9 is the significance of Konjevic Polje and its location there.
10 A. Yes. So this photograph is taken from the hill but just at the
11 bottom of the hill that overlooks the area. This is the direction north,
12 that is, the asphalt road that goes towards Zvornik. To the right is the
13 direction of Bratunac and to the left is the direction of Nova Kasaba. So
14 this is also a surrender spot and also a spot from which -- from where
15 witnesses -- one witness, who is identified but I don't know if I can give
16 his name. I don't know if he was a protected witness or not.
17 Q. I would prefer that you not at this point.
18 A. Yeah. So this -- on this photograph one can see the direction
19 of -- where it is marked "Jadar River," in fact, the Jadar River is at the
20 left of the picture and continues inside the valley and reaches the Drina
21 River. At one point it become it is Drinjaca River when arriving inside
22 this canyon. One man who tried to cross this asphalt road, the witness
23 who I was just referring to previously who I don't identify yet, tried to
24 cross here but was spotted and arrested.
25 Q. There is in the centre of this particular exhibit, Mr. Ruez, a
1 yellow arrow pointing to what appears to be a white house. What is the
2 significance of that particular location?
3 A. This is a hangar, in fact, a warehouse we call it, which is
4 demolished since then, which is in fact a detention site for prisoners who
5 were captured in this vicinity. They were first taken to a vicinity that
6 we will show on the next exhibits. And ultimately these people were put
7 in this warehouse.
8 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 8.2, can you describe for the Court
9 the other detention facilities and military facilities in that immediate
11 A. When going from the intersection of Konjevic Polje towards
12 Bratunac, approximately 500 metres to the east is located the compound of
13 the 5th Engineer Regiment, which is the -- Engineer Unit, sorry, which is
14 a of the Drina Corps.
15 The witness I was referring to once got -- once he got arrested
16 was first taken to this building. He didn't step inside. He just was
17 stopped at the -- taken to the guardhouse, that is, the little building
18 just at the entrance. And from there he was taken to another building
19 that is very nearby this facility, some 100 metres away from it, and that
20 is the Exhibit 8.3.
21 Q. Looking at 8.3, what is depicted on that particular exhibit?
22 A. These are two houses in the -- in the shape they were in April
23 1996. They were in that same shape in summer 1995. You are -- also can
24 see in between two vehicles which are bridge trucks. The reason why I
25 point these is that later you will be shown aerial imagery where these
1 trucks are also visible on it, and this enables you to compare how an
2 object looks on the ground versus how it looks when it appears on aerial
3 imagery. But the reason why this image is on the screen is because the
4 house to the right is a house where with -- where this prisoner was taken
5 to and it was the communication room of the 5th Engineer Unit.
6 Q. Going back to Prosecution Exhibit 8.1. You indicated that this
7 particular individual was apprehended while trying to cross the asphalt
8 road. Once he was taken into custody as a prisoner, can you describe the
9 different facilities and the order in which he was held there in Konjevic
11 A. Yes. The 5th Engineer Unit being, as I said, about 500 metres to
12 the right of this photograph, direction Bratunac, that prisoner was then
13 taken from the communication house to the hangar, which is marked with the
14 yellow arrow right in the middle of the photograph. He was there together
15 with a group of 15 others. And after some time, a bus came. They were
16 taken onboard of a bus and driven towards the Jadar River, where the arrow
17 is pointing towards the top of this picture.
18 Q. What happened once these 16 prisoners arrived at the Jadar River?
19 A. They were instructed to step out of the bus. They went down a
20 steep slope towards the river bank of the Jadar River, and one soldier was
21 standing behind them and opened fire on them. One bullet went through the
22 hip of our witness, who fell in the water and got out of it sometime
23 later. I think let his body float on it for a -- for a short distance and
24 ultimately managed to reach Tuzla.
25 Q. Based upon the information received from this witness, did you
1 accompany him in an attempt to locate the execution site that he had
2 referred to?
3 A. Yes. We -- we brought him there. I could have added a series of
4 pictures to show you the area, but it is a bit useless for the reason that
5 no evidence could be collected from such a site. The river is much more
6 strong during -- during the beginning of the year probably because the
7 water line was visible on the trees some 1 metre higher than the level of
8 the river was when we went there. A lot of trash was hanging on the
9 branches of -- of the lower branches of the trees, showing that at one
10 point between the time we arrived there and the time the events happened
11 the river had washed away everything what was there. So we made an
12 attempt to try to find shell casings in that place, but it was useless.
13 This is a witness we can only believe on -- on -- based on his good faith,
14 I could say.
15 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 8.4. Were you subsequently able to
16 identify other crime scenes in this particular area of Konjevic Polje?
17 A. Yes. We did -- we made a request for imagery, specifically for
18 this area in order to try to identify exhumation sites though they would
19 be disconnected from crime scenes for which we would have witnesses.
20 Q. There were several -- several suspect sites in this area. We did
21 probe all of them. Not all of them had successful results, but two of
22 them indeed had. And on this photograph dated 14 August, you have at the
23 right of this photograph again the hill overlooking Konjevic Polje. At
24 the bottom of the picture, turning to the left of the picture is the dirt
25 road that goes towards the valley of Cerska and at the bottom of the
1 picture is the road that goes towards Nova Kasaba. Behind a tree line is
2 a suspect site that we named KP1, which indeed is a mass grave.
3 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 8.5, does this photograph depict,
4 albeit in colour, the site that you mentioned as KP1?
5 A. Yes, it is. Here we are looking at the site from another angle.
6 Now Konjevic Polje is at the bottom left of the picture, and the road is
7 going towards Nova Kasaba. So this is the road that was taken by the
8 column of trucks deporting the population. And the way this grave is set
9 is obviously to hide it from the view of the people who are travelling
10 from the road.
11 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 8.6, can you describe for the Court
12 what was found at the site labelled "KP1".
13 A. We went there to probe the site once we did assess this imagery.
14 I think it was in 1998, but I cannot ascertain really that date. This was
15 the result of a probe we did there that enabled us to uncover a skull.
16 The full exhumation of that site led to the discovery of nine bodies.
17 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 8.7.
18 A. Yes. This is also the result of a probe we did on another suspect
19 area in the vicinity of Konjevic Polje. This is about 3 kilometres
20 towards the -- the east, so towards Bratunac. It was a suspect area that
21 we probed and then exhumed. Only three bodies were discovered in that
22 disturbed area.
23 Q. Was that site labelled "KP2"?
24 A. This is correct.
25 Q. Mr. Ruez, looking at Prosecution Exhibit 8.8, you mentioned
1 earlier the mobile brigade trucks that were present outside the
2 communications house of the 5th Engineers. Were you able to obtain aerial
3 imagery that detailed the presence of digging equipment in this particular
5 A. Yes. We -- we did access such material. So on this -- on this
6 photograph, one can see in the middle of the picture the compound of -- of
7 the school, that is, the -- the 5th Engineer Unit headquarters. And in
8 the box labelled "A," you have the two houses, which we saw on the
9 previous exhibit. And also, behind these houses you can see bridge
10 trucks. We have -- we have a better enlargement of this. There is no
11 need to enlarge on these ones because we have below-ups that follow.
12 So this is a photo dated 27 July 1995. I said the bridge trucks
13 in the box labelled "A" are there, and in the box labelled "B," there is
14 also some equipment.
15 We then have the next exhibit, which is 8.9, which is the blow-up
16 of the -- the box labelled "A."
17 Q. When you say, Mr. Ruez, "mobile bridge trucks," what do you mean?
18 A. These are the -- these are truck that is can unfold and that
19 creates a bridge. These are pieces of equipment that were not used at all
20 at the time of the events. They were just sitting there. They were still
21 there in 1996. So they are out of the scope of the investigation. It is
22 only to enable to -- to educate all of us on how to compare on object seen
23 from the air and an object seen from the ground, but --
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. But the interest of comparing the dates is to show that there is
1 equipment present in this compound that can be used to dig holes.
2 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 8.10. This is a photograph, again
3 depicting the mobile brigade trucks, this time dated July 27th, 1995. In
4 particular of interest, Mr. Ruez, there is another vehicle that's
5 identified as a front loader.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What is a front loader?
8 A. A front loader is a machine that has a bucket in front of it and
9 that is used to -- to move soil from one place to another.
10 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 8.11, dated again the 5th of July,
11 1995, can you explain what this particular photograph depicts?
12 A. So this is the area that was labelled "B." And it shows indeed a
13 group of houses. And on this photograph, the presence dated July 5 of
14 only a tractor and a trailer.
15 Q. Could you compare that photograph with Prosecution Exhibit 8.12,
16 dated 27 July, 1995?
17 A. So on this photograph dated indeed 27 July, in addition to the
18 tractor and the trailer that was already present here July -- on July 5,
19 in addition now one can see that there is one truck -- two trucks, sorry,
20 and one additional front loader.
21 Q. Mr. Ruez, as an investigator, does the presence of this -- the
22 digging equipment that you have identified corroborate the witness
23 accounts that you obtained concerning the activity that had occurred in
24 this particular area during these particular dates?
25 A. Yes, it does, since many of them talk about this equipment, that
1 they see moving along the road, and mainly it indicates that there was a
2 need for bringing such equipment in that area between the July 5 and July
3 27. It would be my personal conclusion to connect this arrival with the
5 MS. SINATRA: Sorry.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MS. SINATRA: I would like to just voice a running objection. I
8 don't want to interrupt the proceedings any longer. But my running
9 objection is that every time the witness brings up some summary of
10 witnesses that he's spoken before or evidence of someone he's spoken to
11 before, I object that there is no authentication or reliability there.
12 And if he would just let us know whether the witness will be present in
13 the courtroom to testify or not, I'll know whether the objection is useful
14 or not. But if we knew whether the witness is coming, I would have no
15 objection. If the witness is someone that is not coming and we don't have
16 any witness statements on, then I must -- we'll have what we call in our
17 system a "running objection" so that I don't have to interrupt the
18 proceedings any further.
19 JUDGE LIU: Oh, thank you very much. I think it's a good point.
20 I believe that the Prosecutor should indicate it, that whether this
21 information mentioned by the witness will be present and give evidence at
22 a later stage or not.
23 MS. DE LA TORRE: Your Honour --
24 JUDGE LIU: And we understand that the testimony of this witness
25 needs corroborations.
1 MS. DE LA TORRE: The witness is likely not aware of whether or
2 not the Prosecution intends to call particular witnesses. However, we do
3 have a list, which obviously the Defence has as well, that identifies each
4 of these witnesses and the survivors. I can by number rather than by name
5 indicate that at the beginning in order to try and assist the Defence in
6 identifying from the list that they already have which individual we --
7 we're referring to, if that would be helpful.
8 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
9 MS. SINATRA: No objections, Your Honour.
10 I would also like, since he is a -- was an employee of the OTP and
11 probably has access to that kind of confidential information, we don't
12 need to know the name of the witness, just whether we will be able to
13 cross-examine them or not. So it's really an identify -- identification
14 of whether the witness will appear, not who it is, because I might be able
15 to figure that out through the reading.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 Mr. Karnavas?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Nothing, Your Honour. That's exactly what I wanted
19 to bring out, because at some points it's very unclear whether the
20 gentleman is referring to witnesses who will appear or witnesses that he's
21 read their statements or perhaps even spoke with but won't be appearing at
22 trial. So and the Prosecution is in the best position to at least guide
23 us in that. So if she could merely state that this witness will be
24 testifying, so we know, and then Mr. Ruez can continue with his testimony,
25 as he has been. And I would appreciate if he could keep his conclusions
1 to himself. I understand he wishes to share with us his knowledge. He
2 will have plenty of opportunity during cross-examination to do that.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you very much.
4 We will do according to both party agrees. Maybe you could
5 indicate the number of that witness to us.
6 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour. And just going back for
7 clarification, the witness that Mr. Ruez discussed as having survived
8 being shot and falling in the Jadar River is number 59, Witness P175.
9 And the witness he referred to who described the incidents at the
10 Cerska Valley is number 72, Witness P109, both of whom are on the
11 Prosecution witness list.
12 MS. SINATRA: Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may proceed.
14 MS. DE LA TORRE:
15 Q. Mr. Ruez, moving on from the area of Konjevic Polje over to the
16 area of Sandici and Kravica, I'll turn your attention to Prosecution
17 Exhibit 9.1. You had indicated yesterday that the Sandici meadow, that
18 particular area, was one of two main collection points for Muslims who
19 decided to surrender throughout the day and come down from the hills after
20 having been trapped behind the road. Can you describe the route, using
21 Prosecution Exhibit 9.1, that those individuals would take once they made
22 the decision to go ahead and surrender?
23 A. Yes. So at the top of the picture would be in fact the top of the
24 hill that is at the left side of the road that goes from Bratunac to
25 Konjevic Polje. And when people go down that slope, they are funneled by
1 the terrain. So one main direction that people would take is to go down
2 by the way that is marked with the yellow dot. Then as I said, at one
3 point they leave the dirt road, they leave a track of belongings on the
4 meadow in front of that destroyed house, and then they get assembled on
5 this meadow. But there are also other meadows around there, one being on
6 the top at the right of this picture, which is the meadow of Lolici. It
7 is another natural orientation for people who would come down that hill,
8 and from there later on also people were taken by foot towards the meadow
9 of Sandici. The meadow of Sandici is the main regroupment spot for the
10 prisoners who surrender in this area.
11 Q. And looking at Prosecution Exhibit 9.2, Mr. Ruez, does aerial
12 imagery indeed confirm the witness accounts of having surrendered and
13 being collected there on -- on Sandici meadow? Sorry, going back to
14 9.1 -- sorry, it is 9.2.
15 A. So this is a -- a blow-up of the previous one? Yes.
16 Corroboration of witness testimonies, yes, there are several of them.
17 Some are not even visible clearly here, but they are -- they can be seen
18 on other pieces of footage. We have a -- we have the photograph showing
19 these prisoners on the spot. I don't see very well what is the question
20 about that.
21 Q. In addition to the aerial images that depict prisoners being held
22 on the field, is there videotape that exists that also corroborates the
23 witness's account of having surrendered and been collected on Sandici
25 A. Yes. We also have video evidence of that. On one we can see one
1 of the witnesses who was on this meadow, but he was a witness who was not
2 later executed because he was a young boy who managed to get on-board of a
3 bus and he can be seen on the video. But the other survivors we have on
4 this spot, they don't appear on any other footages. But they gave
5 details, for example, the presence of these destroyed houses. It's fixed
6 buildings, so one could think that people knew this area from before, so
7 it's not really relevant. But they describe that there was a tank close
8 to that group. They describe at one point the murder of one individual
9 nearby that tank. One can see on this photograph that just nearby this
10 large group of prisoners is an unidentified vehicle. It seems to be a
11 large one. I would not say it's a tank because it's an unidentified
12 vehicle. But we can also see large tracks going from the asphalt road
13 towards this vehicle. Is this the tank this witness referred about, I
14 don't know.
15 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 9.3. It appears to be a colour
16 photograph of the exact same location that was depicted in the aerial
17 image 9.2. Have you visited this site, Mr. Ruez?
18 A. Yes, several times. The interest of this picture is just to
19 enable you to transpose yourself from a black-and-white aerial imagery to
20 what the terrain really looks like, so by using again an aerial imagery
21 but from a helicopter and in colour. And again, here the dot shows the
22 precise path the people took before being assembled on the spot. We can
23 say it is the precise path because we have video shot at the time of the
24 events, and also once we went there we could see a very precise trail of
25 belongings that the people abandoned when they were reaching the two
1 storage -- destroyed house.
2 Q. During the course of your investigation, Mr. Ruez, were you able
3 to ascertain whether or not General Mladic visited this site and addressed
4 the prisoners as they were being held on the meadow?
5 A. This is not something that I could ascertain, but this is what the
6 witnesses report. They say that indeed at one point of the day, probably
7 around noon, General Mladic arrived with a crew of people and he also --
8 he addressed the crowd, gave some promises about future exchange, and then
9 left the area.
10 Q. Do those accounts of General Mladic addressing the prisoners on
11 Sandici meadow correspond to the accounts of General Mladic having made
12 the same address on the Nova Kasaba football field?
13 A. Yes, it seems that that day, July 13, General Mladic was visiting
14 several sites where prisoners were kept, and more or less in the same
15 pattern gave a speech to his people, gave some security guarantees, and
16 then left. It happened in Bratunac in one hangar. It happened at the
17 Sandici meadow, and it happened also at the Nova Kasaba football field.
18 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 9.4. You had indicated there was a
19 trail of belongings behind this house. When was it, do you recall, that
20 you first were able to visit and physically examine this particular site?
21 A. That was in April 1996.
22 Q. And upon that inspection, were you able yourself to identify a
23 trail of belongings that had been left on that field?
24 A. Yes. This is one picture that shows that trail, when on the top
25 of the balcony of that house and looking down it's even more obvious. But
1 the ground is scattered with various personal items, including plastics of
2 UNHCR and various items, personal belongings. And the meadow also was
3 covered with those, including some pieces of ID that we have collected and
4 turned into evidence, a homemade stretcher found on the ground, items like
5 this that were just left over from the prisoners when they were taken away
6 from this site.
7 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 9.5, Mr. Ruez, can you explain the
8 significance of the location that you have marked as the Kravica warehouse
9 vis-a-vis the Sandici meadow?
10 A. Yes. This photograph is taken when standing behind the two-storey
11 destroyed house and looking in the direction towards Bratunac.
12 Approximately 800 metres in that direction is a warehouse complex, I
13 recall the Kravica warehouse complex. The village of Kravica being a few
14 hundred metres more in the direction west.
15 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 10.1, Mr. Ruez, it appears to be a
16 colour photograph of a warehouse. Is this the warehouse that you referred
17 to as the Kravica warehouse?
18 A. Yes, this is correct.
19 Q. When did you first identify the Kravica warehouse as a potential
20 crime scene?
21 A. First it -- it happened in two stages. The first stage was the
22 interview of -- of an individual that we conducted in, I think, summer
23 1995, who was our first survivor for the Kravica warehouse. Based on his
24 information -- he was kept in the right part of the warehouse, which is
25 the west part, so the right of this photograph. And based on his
1 information we made a first check of this warehouse in January 1996. But
2 it was a very short visit. In fact, the -- the entire building was
3 processed for forensic analysis in June 1996.
4 MS. DE LA TORRE: Your Honour, for the sake of the record and
5 Defence counsel, there are three Kravica warehouse survivors to whom
6 Mr. Ruez will be referring. They are number 41, witness P193; number 62,
7 witness P106; and number 63, witness P107, all of whom are on the
8 Prosecution witness list.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 MS. DE LA TORRE:
11 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 10.2, Mr. Ruez, this appears to be
12 an aerial image dated 13 July. Can you explain to the Court what it is
13 about this particular image that corresponds to the witness statements of
14 the survivors at the Kravica warehouse.
15 A. Yes. That photograph is dated 13 July 1995, 1400 hours, and it
16 shows the presence of two buses in -- in that compound of the Kravica
18 Q. What is -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.
19 A. The importance of this, in terms of corroboration of witness
20 testimony, is that one of these witnesses you mentioned -- survivors you
21 mentioned was in the first group that was taken from the Sandici meadow
22 towards this warehouse, and they were taken on-board of buses. They drove
23 towards direction Bratunac but they stopped when reaching this compound.
24 They turned right, which is the -- to reach the entrance of this compound,
25 and then parked -- his bus was parked just in front of the broad opening.
1 So obviously the bus in which this person was is the bus that -- there is
2 a second one when going from left to right. The reason to know that also
3 is that this bus will stay here, probably because it suffered some damage
4 during what happened there. The witness remembers having heard a very
5 sharp noise of air being expulsed from something. So it's probably that
6 the tyre of this bus was hit at one point, and we have imagery showing
7 this bus staying there.
8 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 10.3. This appears to be a
9 panorama of the same building. Can you explain when this particular
10 photograph was taken?
11 A. This is in wintertime. It's the -- it's the first pictures that
12 we took of the warehouse. It's in January 1996. It's the -- the closest
13 timing possible with the date of the events.
14 Q. On this particular image, Mr. Ruez, can you explain what elements
15 are depicted that correspond to the witness accounts of what occurred in
16 the Kravica warehouse?
17 A. Yes. The building has to be looked as two -- two elements,
18 because two groups of prisoners were taken -- taken separately inside this
19 building. The first group, as I said, arrived there by bus and they were
20 taken into the east part, which on this picture is at the left of the
21 picture. They were occupying the -- the inside of the warehouse, just
22 where the -- the wall is blocking the exit. So in front of these left
23 openings there was no prisoners. So prisoners were pushed in the left
24 part of this -- of this -- of the building. So not the entire surface of
25 the left part of the building was -- was filled with the prisoners.
1 The right part of the building is a different situation. A large
2 group of prisoners from the Sandici meadow were made to walk towards
3 Bratunac, and in fact arriving at the Kravica warehouse they entered this
4 right part of the warehouse, which is at the west, through these doors,
5 through the door which is here now broken but at the time it was not in
6 that -- broken like this. And this right part of the warehouse was
7 completely filled with prisoners, according to their accounts.
8 Q. Did you receive information from the survivors of the Kravica
9 warehouse that you were able to subsequently corroborate once you were
10 able to visit the scene?
11 A. Sorry, I was in another thought. Could you repeat the question?
12 Q. Sure. Did you receive -- or based on the interviews that you
13 conducted with the Kravica warehouse survivors, did you obtain information
14 that you were able to subsequently corroborate once you were able to
15 inspect the site?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you explain to the Court the detail that was provided to you
18 from the survivors that you were able to corroborate once you arrived on
19 the scene.
20 A. There are two series of details. One -- some can some from
21 observations that are made on the buildings and inside the buildings, and
22 others are elements which are coming from the exhumation of the mass grave
23 where these prisoners have then been buried. But together with them were
24 also buried elements which were to be found inside the warehouse and that
25 were described by -- by one of the survivors. So starting with the
1 building, one -- one element that cannot be seen on the picture is that
2 the person said having survived thanks to the fact that he could find a --
3 there was a little, he says, guardhouse inside this right part of the
4 warehouse and he managed to crawl inside. That protected him from injury.
5 When we arrived there the first time, I in fact thought that we
6 were in the wrong place because there was no guardhouse inside the
7 building. In reality, it was such a short visit that we could not really
8 do what we were supposed to do there. And we found traces on the wall
9 that showed that indeed there had been a guardhouse in that building but
10 this guardhouse has been destroyed at the same time the bodies were taken
11 away, and we have, I think, photographs -- or at least on the film we can
12 make stops where I will be able to show you where this, in brackets,
13 guardhouse was located.
14 Q. Beginning with what occurred there at the Kravica warehouse, what
15 did the survivors indicate happened once they arrived?
16 A. The -- apparently the reconstruction of the events would be that
17 the killing happened in the -- in two phases. Phase one was the killing
18 of the people who were in the west part of the warehouse, and then the
19 execution switched on the other part of the warehouse. According to the
20 witness who was detained in the west part, as soon as he was entering --
21 he entered that warehouse that was already packed with people, there was
22 fire getting -- fire was opened from all the openings of this building.
23 Grenades were thrown inside, and this happened in various ways. I'm not
24 going to describe the entire statement of these people, since you already
25 have them and we'll hear it again from -- from them.
1 Q. Before we move on from this particular exhibit, 10.3, Mr. Ruez,
2 could you explain the significance of the markings that are on the wall
3 surrounding the second window from the right?
4 A. Yes. Various things in terms of markings. Pockmarks are
5 obviously the result of a shooting on this building. There is also
6 destruction on the right part of the building. You can see a large door
7 with a broken wall on the right and a broken upper part of a door at the
8 top. These destructions were caused by the excavator -- I mean, front
9 loader that entered this building after the executions to collect the
10 bodies. These pieces of concrete were later found in the mass grave where
11 the bodies had been buried, as well as hay that was also thrown on the
12 bodies after the execution as well as body -- pieces of vehicle that were
13 also inside the warehouse at the time.
14 The blow-up on this window is of interest, to be later on compared
15 with the live footage taken by Zoran Petrovic, when he was in company of
16 General Borovcanin in this area and he filled this part of the warehouse
17 with a stack of dead bodies on the ground. When one looks tentatively
18 like we will do later on this footage, at this specific window it will be
19 seen that there are no bullet traces on that part of the wall, versus they
20 exist here in -- in January 1996. That's an indication that the massacre
21 here was ongoing at the moment these live pictures were being -- were
23 Q. Moving inside the warehouse itself, Mr. Ruez, I'll turn to
24 Prosecution Exhibit 10.4. When you arrived on the scene in 1996, what did
25 you discover within the warehouse that corroborated the witness account?
1 A. On this photograph, this photograph depicts a blood stain at the
2 angle of a wall to this one because it was very obvious even on a
3 photograph. We have made available all the forensic reports about the
4 findings on this place, so you already know that more or less every single
5 piece of -- of whatever was on this wall ended up being human residue or
6 pieces of hair, of skin, or blood and other things. The entire place is
7 scattered with these things. Not necessarily as impressive as such a
8 large stain, but a lot of residue in this place.
9 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 10.5, can you inform the Court what
10 this picture depicts?
11 A. Yes. This is a picture of the ceiling of -- of one part of the
12 ceiling, because not the entire ceiling of this building shows these
13 things. But these are bloodstains also on the ceiling, which is quite a
14 high ceiling, 2 -- 3 metres high, I would assess. And this is also
15 consistent with severed body parts from an explosion blast, grenade
16 explosions that would -- that would throw a piece of body at that ceiling
17 and leave a stain on it.
18 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 10.6, can you explain the
19 significance of this particular photograph and the angle from which it was
21 A. Yes. I did summarise a bit the execution process that took part
22 at the west of the warehouse. But the first group that arrived, arrived
23 by bus and was put in the east part, and apparently since those were kept
24 in that part were being told that during all this intense shooting that in
25 fact they were under attack from the column from the hills, it seems to
1 indicate that there were probably not enough men available to do the two
2 killings in one, so they first did one part and then they switched on the
3 other part.
4 The window that can be seen at the right of this -- of the
5 building, that is, the back of a building, is the window from which --
6 through which one of our survivors jumped through. Then he lied in the
7 cornfield that is behind here. The corn is -- is cut.
8 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 10.7, which is a close-up of the
9 particular window.
10 A. So this is a window at the east part of the warehouse, when
11 looking at the warehouse from the asphalt road. According to the -- to
12 the victims, people tried in any way to flee this place, so some were
13 jumping out of the windows. And here we have one of these windows and we
14 have a shoe trace just above the first bullet hole that is underneath.
15 When we blow up the shoe trace we can see that it is the reverse of a
16 shoe. It is not the shoe of someone who is climbing through this window
17 but it is the shoe of someone who -- the shoe print of someone who is
18 trying to get out of this window.
19 Q. Looking at Exhibit 10.8, is that in fact a close-up of the shoe
20 print you were referring?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And as you indicated, these shoe prints, it's a bit difficult to
23 tell on this particular photograph, is facing towards the ground?
24 A. Towards the ground. This is the shoe print of someone who is
25 getting out of the window and trying to get out of this building.
1 MS. DE LA TORRE: Your Honour, at this time we have a videotape
2 that was taken depicting the crime scene at Kravica warehouse labelled
3 "Prosecution Exhibit 10.9." I believe it's -- might be right at about
4 ten minutes, so we can either start that now or defer that until tomorrow.
5 JUDGE LIU: Let's watch the video today. And you may ask some
6 questions concerning with the video next Monday.
7 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour.
8 [Videotape played]
9 THE WITNESS: So this is Sandici, the two-storey destroyed house.
10 Here is the Sandici meadow, with the corn at the left. Then the asphalt
11 road. So here it is filming towards the direction of Bratunac, so
12 Kravica. And to indicate the distance, here there will be a zoom-in. And
13 just underneath the tree line at the end will be the Kravica warehouse.
14 The approximate distance, I would say 800 metres.
15 So this is a view from above. Unfortunately, we have again the
16 problem of the quality. This is the entire warehouse complex. Here the
17 right door had been repaired. This was filmed in 1999, and the right part
18 of the door has been repaired. It's continuing.
19 Could we cut the sound? This video -- this piece of video here
20 was filmed by a colleague named Peter Nicholson in 1996, April 1996. And
21 the outside impacts are obviously due to a fact that people were running
22 out of this, as we can see later on in the live video. The bodies are
23 outside the warehouse for some of them. This is -- these are other traces
24 of the so-called guardhouse inside, and at the bottom there are also some
25 specific tiles that mark the perimeter of this former guardhouse. This is
1 the shape of the inside walls.
2 I also mentioned that beside the pieces that have been collected
3 by the ICTY experts who were doing forensic in this building, the building
4 has never been cleaned from 1995 through to 1999. I don't even know if it
5 is done yet. Some of these black traces at the bottom are explosive
7 What we just saw was the east part -- sorry, the west part. And
8 here is then the east part. So where these large openings are, there were
9 no prisoners behind. But prisoners were here at the left. So this is the
10 area where there was no one, in front of the openings. And all this area
11 here, the prisoners were sitting.
12 This part of the warehouse had not been fully processed by the
13 forensic people, but I went personally to collect one blood trace in 1998.
14 We presented it to the lab, and it was told to be human blood.
15 Here in 1996 there is a live grenade that had been forgotten at
16 the edge of the road. It might be there for any other reasons. I would
17 not say that it's July 1995.
18 This is the result of a -- of a dig that we did on a little area
19 of trash. And going through that trash, we found shell casings, a few
20 cover pages of ID documents, and a collection of bones. We were together
21 with Dr. Bill Haglund who gave us an indication that these bones for most
22 of them were human bones. There were a few animal bones also with it.
23 There is also fake teeth at the left.
24 This is the back of the warehouse, where also shell casings were
25 found. But here unfortunately there is no straight zoom on it. The
1 pieces that have been selected for this footage is only showing grenade
2 handles. And these grenade handles were found just underneath that window
3 and there were a few more grenade handles found underneath the following
5 MS. DE LA TORRE: Your Honour, that concludes the video of this
6 particular scene video. We do have another clip of video and a few more
7 things to cover with regard to Kravica warehouse, if you'd like me to
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we have to stop at this moment. Next
10 Monday we'll have the afternoon session, which will start at 2.15 in the
11 same courtroom.
12 We are adjourned now.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
14 at 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
15 the 19th day of May, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.